• The Skyliners (1) (Pittsburgh, Pa.)


    Personnel :

    Jimmy Beaumont (Lead)

    Janet Vogel (First Tenor)

    Wally Lester (Second Tenor)

    Joe Versharen (Baritone)

    Jack Taylor (Bass)

    Discography :

    The Skyliners (1)

    1958 - Since I Don't Have You / One Night One Night (Calico 103/104)
    1959 - This I Swear / Tomorrow (Calico 106)
    1959 - It Happened Today / Lonely Way (Calico 109)
    1960 - How Much / Lorraine From Spain (Calico 114)
    1960 - Pennies From Heaven / l"ll Be Seeing You (Calico 117)
    1960 - Believe Me / Happy Time (Calico 120)
    1961 - The Door Is Still Open / I'll Close My Eyes (Colpix 188)
    1961 - The End Of A Story / Baion Rhythms (Colpix 607)
    1961 - Close Your Eyes / Our Love Will Last (Colpix 613)
    1962 - Everyone But You / Three Coins In The Fountain (Cameo 215)
    1962 - Comes Love / Tell Me (Viscount 104)
    1963 - I'd Die / Since I Fell For You (Atco 45-62-70)
    1963 - This I Swear / It happened today (Original sound 37)

    Unreleased :
    N/A - Stardust (Calico)
    N/A - Footsteps (Calico)
    N/A - Blossoms To The Snow (Calico)

    Lps :
    1959 - The Skyliners (Calico LP3000)
    Pennies From Heaven / When I Fall In Love / Tired Of Me / Zing Went The String Of My Heart / Since I Don't Have You / l"ll Be Seeing You / This I Swear / Tomorrow / One Night One Night / If I Loved You / I Can Dream Can't I / Warm

    The Skyliners (1) without Jimmy Beaumont
    1965 - The Loser / Everything Is Fine (Jubilee 5506)
    1966 - Who do you love / Get yourself a baby (Jubilee 5512)
    1965 - I Run To You / Don't Hurt Me Baby (Jubilee 5520)


    Biography :

     In 1958 , Jimmy, Wally Lester and Jack Taylor-who had been singing with Joe Rock's group, The Crescents - combined with Joe Versharen and Janet Vogel from The El Rios, another vocal group from Pittsburgh's South Hills.  Joe Rock, then named them for jazz orchestra leader Charlie Barnett's theme song "Skyliner".

    The Skyliners could have no better advocate than Joe Rock, an ambitious youth not much older than themselves, who was an industry insider with contacts gained from working as a promotion man for a local record distributor.

    Janet Vogel & Jimmy Beaumont

    The song that would inspire their success was inspired when a secretary at a radio station that Joe was promoting, said that she didn't want to date him anymore.  While driving a few nights later,  Joe conceived the words to the song and later Jimmy Beaumont provided the melody.  Today, "Since I Don't Have You" is regarded as the quintessential fifties ballad  from standard pop.

     The recording itself was a radical departure from teenage Rock and Roll.  True to the groups vision of combining two different musical styles, The Skyliners' blue eyed soul delivery is balanced by the lush string filled arrangement by Pittsburgher Lenny Martin. 

    The same concept of introducing full orchestra arrangement to Rock and Roll would later prove successful for the Drifters("There Goes My Baby"), The Duprees ("My Own True Love") and Phil Spector's "wall of sound" productions.

    Legend has it that Janet ad libbed the song's memorable ending in high C (after repeating thirteen "you's") as a joke during rehersals.  The group liked it so much they made it a permanent part of their arrangement.  More than a dozen labels rejected the song before it was released by a local Pittsburgh label, Calico Records.

    Credit for "breaking" "Since I Don't Have You" goes to deejay "Art Pallan of Pittsburgh's leading pop station KDKA, but the other Pittsburgh stations were not far behind.  Dick Clark was an early believer in the group and featured them on American Bandstand on Friday, February 13, 1959.  By March of 1959, "Since I Don't Have You" had spread from Pittsburgh to the national pop charts.

    The soulful delivery was appreciated even more by R&B radio resulting in greater success in the rhythm and blues Cashbox Magazine.  It was the first single by a Caucasian group to hit #1 on the Cashbox R&B charts.

    Alan Freed invited The Skyliners to New York to appear on his 1959 Easter stage show with Jackie Wilson, Fats Domino, and Bobby Darin.  They also made 8 appearances at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem.  Dick Clark took them on the road with his "Caravan of Stars" tour and featured them on Bandstand and his Saturday night television show numerous times.

    In 1960, Calico released its first album, "The Skyliners", containing twelve songs, including both sides of the group's first two self-penned singles, 'Since I Don't Have You", B/W "One Night, One Night", and "This I Swear, B/W "Tomorrow" as well as another original, "Tired of Me". 


    The rest of the album was comprised of standards including "Zing Went The Strings of My Heart", "If I Loved You", and two songs led by Janet, "When I Fall In Love" and "I Can Dream Can't I".  Two other standards from the album, "Pennies From Heaven"(inspired by The Clovers version) B/W "I'll be Seeing You" would be chosen for the group's fifth single.  It was the Rock and Roll LP to break into the Top 50 Album chart.

    In the interim, "Lonely Way" B/W "It Happened Today" and "How Much" B/W "Lorraine From Spain" were released.  Their sixth and final Calico single was "Believe Me" B/W "Happy Time".  The remaining three Calico masters, "Stardust", "Footsteps", and "Blossoms To The Snow" were released years later on a compilation album.


    Joe Rock remembered that the group was so well prepared for their recording sessions that there wasn't much variation to their studio performances.  The five outtakes preserved in their "40th Anniversary Edition CD" from their Calico sessions provide fans with a unique insight into the creative process.


    In 1961, The Skyliners moved to the larger Colpix label, the recording division of Columbia Pictures, and continued their practice of recording standard established songs like, "Close Your Eyes", "The Door Is Still Open" (Both written by "The King Of The Stool", Chuck Willis). These two songs were backed with original material written by Joe Rock and Jimmy Beaumont for Janet.

    The Skyliners recorded "Comes Love"(written by Pittsburgh singer/songwriter Johnny Jack a close friend of the group) for the local Viscount Label.  It was backed by "Tell Me", a song that Jimmy liked so much he also released it as a solo artist on Bang Records. 

    Both sides received a lot of airplay in the Pittsburgh area and "Comes Love" became a collector's favorite.  "Tell Me", which Rock/Beaumont also wrote, was Jimmy's mother's favorite Skyliner record.


    By 1963 the group had signed with Atco Records which released their version of the standard "Since I Fell For You".  Although Lenny Welch was to have the national hit with his version that year, the flip side of The Skyliners record, "I'd Die", was re-discovered in the mid-70's by 13-Q Radio deejay, Don Bombard (Now known as Bob Shannon on WCBS √êFM in New York) and has become one of their most requested releases.

    By the early sixties, the group was growing tired of the road and decided to take a hiatus from the business.  Jummy Beaumont continued to record and perform as a single act.  Joe Rock continued to write songs, notably with Otis Redding("Dreams To Remember") and managed other artists including, the Jaggerz("The Rapper").

    In 1965, Jack Taylor, with Joe Rock's permission, fronted a Skyliner group which recorded "The Loser" on Jubilee Records.  This soulful ballad, written by Taylor and Rock, became a much played slow dance at Pittsburgh area record hops and charted Top 40 nationally both Pop and R&B.


    Movies :

    Since I Dont Have You

    Pennies From Heaven

    Songs :

    Since I Don't Have You          One Night One Night               This I Swear

    Tomorrow                           It Happened Today                 Lonely Way

    How Much                      Lorraine From Spain              Pennies From Heaven

    l"ll Be Seeing You                   Believe Me                     Happy Time

    The Door Is Still Open              I'll Close My Eyes                The End Of A Story

    Baion Rhythms

    CD :


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